A news on traditional food fae Lumsden
A story by Edith Petrie and Pat Dunn about the traditional food of the Lusmden area, incuding an authentic
“I like tatties. Chapped ??? tatties. And stovies. “What’s a chapped tatty then?” Let the tatties boil and then
“Love stovies. Only done it a couple of times but no-one’s even shown me how to do it properly – do you
use mince or do you use bits of steak? Oh no – if I’m eating stovies, I’m eating stovies.
Meat and stovies are meat and stovies? Oil. Used to use lard but I just put in oil now. Bit healthier.
I cut up an onion and put it in. Get your fat hot and put onion in, cut it and get it brownie then get potatoes
ready and put them in sliced and stir them up at the bottom and you get this lovely brown – thinly slice the
tatties. I like mine brown.
After keep stirring until they’re really ready and then turn down the heating. Never put in beef. Nae beef –
just stovies. Stovies doesn’t have beef in them. Just onion and tatties.
A lot of people now put in mince and gravy and stuff but I dinnae. Stovies taste much better without the
meat. Jusst salt and pepper. And if you have beetroot – plain beetroot or the jelly one – you put beetroot in a
redcurrant jelly – that’s nice with stovies. Or the plain beetroot. Corned beef and chopped tatties or
oatcakes. Oatcakes are lovely. But not tooth friendly – not the easiest things to eat.
When Willie was working in the shop I made seven girdles of oatcakes every Tuesday – used to wash on
Monday and bake seven girdles every Tuesday and that would last the week. I had an open fire you see
and you put your oatcakes in a wrap and dry them off and put them in your box. Oatmeal and salt and a bit
of melted fat. Had a board sprinkled with oatmeal and just pop them off the board and cut into triangles –
like the shortbread.
That would last a week – we used to eat it with everything. Even with pudding. That was your staple diet.
My husband’s family, there was eight of them and they had porridge in in morning, maybe skirly at
dinnertime – oatmeal with onions and that but thin – and then porridge again at night, or a boiled egg.
So actually oatmeal was the main staple carbohydrate but beef on a Sunday – a roast on a Sunday. It was
different when I was little because we had our own farm.
Younger – farm they just had beef on a Sunday but a lot of them in Lumsden and that, they just had beef but
we had pheasants, and rabbits. If you had a farm you had chickens, Like rabbit – mixy stopped them but in
Holland they still eat them. It’s quite lean – needs some bacon or lardons or something.
My mother used to make an oatmeal stuffing, sewed into rabbit with a wee drop of water. A few stitches like
you do a turkey at Christmas. And a few onions and turnip and carrots, gravy and salt. We had that a lot
and we loved it. And we had chickens – sold chickens and had roast chicken sometimes.
I had a lady here that stayed in the top manse – Lady Nicol and when we came into the farm she took a
young cockerel from me every Sunday to feed her cancer, she said. She had cancer in her throat – but she
lived a long age. I suppose any chicken would have done but she would buy a hen every Saturday. I don;t
know what she did with it. She said she took it to feed her cancer. But Ive one old ??? comes and stays
with me and she’s 90, from Auchterarder. Drives up every year for the Lady Mary’s birthday at the Lonach.
Lady Mary Forbes. People all over the world talk about chicken soup being good for you – the broth is a
healing thing. Make it with the whole thing. Pheasant makes a good broth – if you do pheasant it’s best pot
roasted to keep it moist.
Pease meal brose – try that. Bit like cornflour – used to be a darker colour long ago but it’s lighter now. It’s a
bit like a pudding. Maybe powdered split yellow peas?